Testimonial: Living a transgender identity at Alithya

Published September 27 2019 by Communications Team
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On August 6, 2018, Sabrina reached an important milestone in her life’s journey when she began working at Alithya. It was more than simply a new professional challenge; it was the first time she had ever been hired as a woman.

After seventeen years in the information technology sector, Sabrina made the decision to take a break in order to make her transition from a man to a woman. By the time Alithya approached her about a Microsoft .Net programming position, she had every reason to feel confident. After all, she had developed solid expertise in the implementation of applications, websites, and consulting services for enterprise solutions.

 

From the first interview, I felt very comfortable with Alithya. I immediately sensed a high level of acceptance and I quickly decided that, if the hiring process went well, I would choose Alithya.”

 

Rapidly dissolving concerns

With joy, Sabrina welcomed news that she had been chosen for the job. During her first days, the support of her employer helped a lot.

 

"When I first arrived at Alithya, I was really stressed. It did not last very long. I was warmly welcomed and asked several questions to ensure that my integration would be handled the right way.” Already, she declares without hesitation: “This is the best job I have had so far, mainly because I feel good about myself. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been able to see much more evolution in my career.”

As is the case for most transgender people, Sabrina’s journey took many steps before arriving at that moment. She encountered numerous people who, like herself, exhibited determination and courage during the long acceptance process. Nevertheless, she still recognizes how difficult it is for many transgender people to have fulfilling careers. “Gender dysphoria* isn’t a choice, and it took me many years to accept that. Fortunately, I had a well-established career, but that isn’t the case for everyone.”
 

Communication at the heart of relationships with clients and colleagues

Early on, Sabrina’s fears primarily revolved around the uncertainty of potential customer reactions, however she soon realized that she can flourish in her work environment without fear of being judged. Her first assignment at Alithya was to deliver remote solutions for a key player in the transportation industry. Eight months later, Sabrina received a new mandate that requires her to be physically present in the offices of a pharmaceutical client a few days a week. “I really appreciate that role, because Alithya has opened doors that enable me to be myself when I represent the company.”

Since taking on new challenges at Alithya, her desire to communicate and to break down existing taboos has helped her a lot. She has taken time to discuss her transition with some of her colleagues, and she has never felt judged. For Sabrina, informing people about what she is experiencing, both in her personal and professional lives, is an important part of the process.

 

What does the future hold?

With support from colleagues and clients, Sabrina intends to continue developing her expertise in order to become a software architect.

 
“I consider myself lucky because there is no limit to my ambition. It’s not always easy to live a transgender identity and to feel accepted but, fortunately, it’s becoming more and more so in my case.”

*Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.

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